I was quite pleased to find that someone else outside of the metro police is as annoyed as I am by people on the metro.
In her post, “Courtesy-Minded Metro Stands Up for Riders Who Shouldn’t Have To“, Lena Sun talks about people not giving up seats to those who are elderly, disabled, or even pregnant. Shocking, right?
Except I live here.
Last week, I got on a crowded red line train to Glenmont, and there were 2 men on each of the 2 front benches at the rear-end of the car. A woman carrying a baby in her arms got on the train, and not ONE of the four looked up.
Instead, a woman in the second row of seats got up and offered the woman her seat (it was gratefully accepted.). She then said to another standing woman, loudly enough for the guys to hear: “Notice not one of those men offered?”…to which the other replied “Chivalry is really dead.” The conversation went back and forth for a minute or so, with several other women in the area chiming in with comments like “I guess we shouldn’t be surprised…”
Do you know, throughout the whole thing, not one of those guys flinched?
Now listen, I’m not a fool, and I realize this isn’t the age of chivalry. Women can’t say we want to be treated equally and then be uber snippy when guys don’t go out of their way to help us.
Then again…news flash for you, guys– we like it, a lot if you do. We notice. We think it’s attractive. And we kind of think you’re a jack@ss if you let a door slam in our face, or, if you, you know, pretend you don’t notice that a woman WITH A BABY needs a place to sit on the metro. Maybe it’s not fair of us to have these expectations, but guess what? Life isn’t fair. Deal with it. Be a gentleman.
Chivalry aside, if you’re in the FIRST ROW or in one of those clearly marked priority seating areas, you have to suck it up if someone needs it more than you do. (I’ve done it, in case you are interested. Even while wearing heels. And I’ve even seen other people do it, too. It can be done, and you can survive.)
In discussions about Metro using “voluntary etiquette police,” the husband of a disabled Metro rider in DC commented: “I wonder if public shame works in Washington, D.C.”
Judging on last week’s experience, I wouldn’t count on it.